Keeping you informed 

After voters approved issuance of the street bond, the next steps are to issue the bond, plan for engineering work and prepare for accelerated road construction in 2019.

Read about the streets that are scheduled to be repaired or replaced in 2019

For some history on the planning that went into the bond, Watch the Mayor’s bond presentation.

Property owners in Northville can assess their cost for the street bond by using the online calculator. You can find your taxable value on your summer 2018 tax statement or by looking up your property here: property tax and assessing lookup. The taxable value is no more than half of the market value. The calculator multiplies your taxable value by 0.00098.

Calculate Your Estimated Cost

To determine your estimated additional cost for the street bond, multiply your home's taxable value by .00098.


Home's Taxable Value $125,000

Multiply $125,000 x .00098 $122.50

Your calculator...

Enter your home's taxable value: $   

Your estimated additional cost: $ 

Q&A about the 2018 street bond
1. Why do we need a street bond?
The amount of funds budgeted annually for street repair and replacement, approximately $550,000 per year, is not sufficient to keep pace with the rate at which streets are deteriorating. At present, 46.5% of Northville streets have a “poor” rating … which means that we are repairing streets when they get closer to the “replacement” condition. This is a very expensive way to maintain streets. It also results in people driving on streets that are more likely to develop potholes and crumbling conditions.
2. How much will I need to pay for the street bond?
The estimated millage to be levied beginning in 2019 would be 0.9787 mills (98¢ per $1,000 of taxable value). That would be used for the issuance of a $3,050,000 Street Improvement Bond, paid for over 10 years ($50,000 of that amount covers the cost of issuing the bonds). The average residential taxpayer has a taxable value of $139,943, which amounts to an increase of $137 on their 2019 City tax bill. That increase would continue for a total of 10 years.
3. Will new property development share in the cost?
Any new development in the City will pay its share of the bond once the property is on the tax rolls at its new value. If there is any new development, this will reduce the amount of tax paid by existing property owners over the 10-year bond period. In addition, developers would be responsible for most of the cost of street improvements (new traffic signals, turn lanes, passing lanes) directly resulting from the development.
4. How will the Street Bond change the way streets are repaired?
The City currently spends approximately $550,000 per year to repair streets. Bond funds will be able to bring most street conditions up to “good” before they deteriorate to a condition that requires costly reconstruction. Engineers and financial analysts have determined that reconstructing failed streets later is much more expensive than repairing and resurfacing streets now. The total costs of maintenance and street reconstruction are projected to be $2.5 million lower over the following 15 years, if the bond issue passes, than if the City continues to spend funds in its present manner. (Refer to Engineer’s chart of poor/fair/good streets.)
5. How will the bond money be allocated?
The bond funds would be combined with the City’s existing street millage and $1,050,000 from reserve funds to finance an infusion of $6.25 million into street repairs and replacement over the next four years. After spending these initial funds, the City would continue to use its existing street millage (currently 1.68 mills), which generates about $550,000 annually, to repair and maintain the improved street system. (See financial chart showing infusion.)
6. How do we know that funds from the bond issue will be spent on streets?
The wording of the ballot language stipulates that funds from the bond issue must be used “to pay the cost of acquiring and constructing street improvements throughout the City, consisting of paving, repaving, grading, resurfacing, reconstructing and improving streets, including curb, gutter, sidewalk, drainage and related improvements.”
7. Why isn’t the City planning on doing more?
We realize that no one wants to pay additional tax. So, the City put together a plan that will significantly impact our streets and ask for less than 1 mill in additional taxes. It is important to remember that this plan, while measurably improving streets, will not bring all streets to good condition.
8. How will Northville determine which streets will be repaired?
Our engineers will objectively select the streets to be repaired, based on the condition at the time, using the Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (PASER) system, and Roadsoft software. The overall condition of the streetway network (OCI) and practicalities – such as traffic volumes, scheduling close repairs together, and not obstructing alternative routes – will factor into the plan.
9. How do we know that repairs will last?
The City will implement a new quality assurance and quality control program which will include:
having one engineering firm design and supervise all street improvements; requiring materials to come from certified plants and pits with certified mix designs; sampling and testing the materials used; and hiring trained professionals, independent of the contractor, to conduct a field inspection.
10. How are other communities handling street repairs?
Canton is proposing a millage of 1.45 over 20 years on the township’s Aug. 7 ballot. In 2014, Royal Oak voters approved a 10-year, 2.5-mill tax increase to upgrade local streets. See details here. In 2016, Ann Arbor renewed a street, bridge and sidewalk millage, and bridges of up to 2.125 mills for five years (2017-2021). See details here. Brighton is asking for a 4.34 mill increase to repair and maintain roads on the August ballot. See details here.
11. Why doesn’t the state gas tax increase cover street repairs?
The state tax on unleaded gasoline increased from 19 cents to 26.3 cents per gallon on Jan. 1, 2017. It will eventually add $1.2 billion a year to fix the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges. Transportation officials warn the higher taxes won’t translate into better streets for years to come and also because the program is not fully funded. Michigan won’t be spending the full additional $1.2 billion annually on streets and bridges until 2021 if the money is available. (reference: Detroit News)
12. How much did the City receive from the state gas tax hike (Act 51)?
In 2018, Northville received an additional $38,354.68, This slight increase helps to offset street maintenance costs, like patching and snow plowing, but isn’t enough to cover street repair or reconstruction.
13. Why don't my current taxes cover street repair & replacement?
Of the total Wayne County tax bill paid by homeowners, only 36% is retained by the City. The other 64% is distributed to other taxing jurisdictions for items such as county operations, schools, parks, library and debt. Northville residents who live in Oakland County only see 40% of their taxes retained by Northville. The City can only budget the revenue received from the current street improvement tax levy. That millage rate is subject to reduction each year due to Headlee. When it was first approved, the millage was established at 1.92 mills. Over the past 21 years, it has declined to 1.6841 mills. Meanwhile, costs for street construction continue to rise.
14. What is the difference between this bond request and the request made in 2015?
The ballot language of this bond issue requires that all bond funds must be spent on street repairs.
The estimated millage required for this bond issue is 0.98 mills over 10 years, the last proposal asked for 2.25 mills over 15 years. That millage failed.
Have another question?
If you have a question that hasn't yet been answered, please direct it to the City Manager.

City of Northville has a plan to prioritize road repair and replacement

There’s a science to determining how roads should be repaired or replaced, balanced by practicality and traffic flow.

The process of evaluation and analysis starts with rating roads using the Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (PASER) system, an industry-standard assessment in which trained analysts drive each segment of road (from intersection to intersection) and score it from one (the worst) to 10 (a new road). Roads rated 7 or 8 may require routine maintenance, such as crack sealing or minor patching. Roads rated 4-6 are considered to be in “fair” condition and may need preventive maintenance, such as an overlay or joint repairs. Roads rated less than 4 are candidates for extensive repairs or reconstruction.

After each segment is rated, Roadsoft, a pavement management software, is used to define the type of repair, its cost and the allocated budget, to determine the most cost-effective way to attain the best overall condition for the roadway network (roads owned by the City). The software also defines how many lane miles of each type of repair must be done to attain the long-term condition goals for the roadway network. The City aims to attain an average rating of 6 OCI (Overall Condition Index) with millage funding.

To determine which roads are the best candidates for the extensive repairs, a Network Priority Rating (NPR) is calculated for each pavement segment. Calculations are based on these five factors: PASER rating, pavement priority, pavement use, segment length, and pavement classification.

Pavement Priority is classified as: 1) low – only residential and mostly local residents; 2) medium – periodic commercial, frequent residential traffic; and 3) high – frequent commercial and high use of local traffic.

Pavement use has four categories: major residential, major commercial and local residential and local commercial. It is related to the location, degree of utilization and expected traffic type/frequency of a particular road segment.

street with patched potholestThe segment length uses calculations developed by the state in its Roadsoft program.

Pavement classification – There are basically five categories: 1) asphalt standard duty, 2) asphalt heavy duty, 3) concrete standard duty, 4) concrete heavy duty, and 5) asphalt overlay composite (asphalt over concrete). Standard vs. heavy-duty is based in part on the thickness of the pavement.

Once the NPR is calculated, all segments that are candidates for a particular treatment are determined, based on pavement type (asphalt, concrete, or composite) and PASER rating. These segments are then evaluated using NPR to determine a rating, with the highest values given top priority. Segments are then chosen for repair until reaching the total lane miles of treatment recommended in a particular year.

For example, this shows one year of the City’s long-term strategy:

Type of road Repair Lane miles

Asphalt Reconstruction   .252  
Asphalt 3” Mill and Overlay   .256  
Asphalt Crack Seal   4.062  
Composite 3” Mill and Overlay
Composite Crack Seal
Concrete Asphalt Overlay   .330  

Types of repairs that will improve the road network

Upgrades to roads include reconstruction, mill and overlay, and crack seal repairs for roads made of asphalt, composite and concrete. Reconstruction is a complete tear-down and rebuild; mill and overlay is a process of grinding down the top layer – the wearing layer – and setting down new layers of material (allowing the base of the road to last longer); and crack-seal repairs are used to apply asphalt to a crack to prevent water from seeping into the pavement and potentially creating a pothole.

When scheduling repairs or replacement, practical aspects must be taken into account. For example, when major water main or sewer work is scheduled in a given year, major road repairs on that same section of road would be made immediately following that repair.

Once all streets to be repaired are determined for each year, a manual review is conducted to balance the location of repairs with other construction planned or underway (e.g. construction of new homes or a commercial building). That way, repairs don’t create gridlock in one part of town. With proper planning, multiple repairs can be done sequentially.